How Do I Wash Polyester?

While the labels on many polyester objects suggest dry cleaning to remove wrinkles and stains, many polyester items can be safely machine washed at home in warm water.

Because polyester items can often pill if they are rubbed too much, turn garments inside out to reduce the risk of snagging the material on the washing machine or other items in the wash. For white polyester objects, such as tablecloths, treating the fabric in a solution of one part washing detergent and two parts warm water prior to washing enhances the whiteness of the fabric. When rinsing treated, white polyester, add one-half cup of vinegar to the final rinse solution to maintain the color. If using chlorine bleach, use only a small amount to avoid chemically thinning the fabric. To address static electricity in the washed material, use a fabric softener.

After washing, the polyester material should be dried on a low temperature tumble dry. Over drying polyester risks shrinking the material over time, leaving the item looking wrinkled. After washing and drying, wrinkles can be removed from polyester by either steaming the material over a hot bathtub or with a professional steamer. Wrinkles can also be removed through ironing, but use only a low or medium temperature iron to prevent over drying.